Windborne debris risk analysis - Part I. Introduction and methodology

Ning Lin, Erik Vanmarcke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Windborne debris is a major cause of structural damage during severe windstorms and hurricanes owing to its direct impact on building envelopes as well as to the 'chain reaction' failure mechanism it induces by interacting with wind pressure damage. Estimation of debris risk is an important component in evaluating wind damage risk to residential developments. A debris risk model developed by the authors enables one to analytically aggregate damage threats to a building from different types of debris originating from neighboring buildings. This model is extended herein to a general debris risk analysis methodology that is then incorporated into a vulnerability model accounting for the temporal evolution of the interaction between pressure damage and debris damage during storm passage. The current paper (Part I) introduces the debris risk analysis methodology, establishing the mathematical modeling framework. Stochastic models are proposed to estimate the probability distributions of debris trajectory parameters used in the method. It is shown that model statistics can be estimated from available information from wind-tunnel experiments and post-damage surveys. The incorporation of the methodology into vulnerability modeling is described in Part II.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-206
Number of pages16
JournalWind and Structures, An International Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Building and Construction
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Modeling and Simulation


  • Hurricane
  • Probabilistic modeling
  • Risk analysis
  • Windborne debris


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